Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini believes his players would be making a big mistake if they believed the Barclays Premier League title race were over.
Last night’s 1-0 win over Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium means City will secure their first championship since 1968 if they win their final two games, at Newcastle on Sunday and at home to QPR seven days later.
Yet Mancini still insists United are favourites and does not want his players to get lulled into a false sense of security.
“It is not finished,” said Mancini. “If we think it is finished, we will be making a big mistake.
“United are the favourites.
“They have easy games. They play against Swansea and Sunderland.
“We have two strong games, Newcastle and QPR. One plays for the Champions League, the other for relegation.
“It is important that we are on the top now but it is more important to be there after May 13.”
Pop superstar and celebrity City fan Liam Gallagher was less cautious as he burst into the media room after Mancini had given his post-match observations to announce: “Ferguson must have been on the whisky,” and: “I love Mancini, he is nearly as cool as me.”
Mancini might have appreciated the plaudits but he was happy to praise his team, believing their victory was fully deserved because of their attacking attitude towards the game.
“It was important for them to play for a draw because the championship would have been finished,” he said.
“We played better. We deserved to win but it was difficult because they had all the players behind the ball.”
Just four games ago, City were eight points behind and seemingly in crisis.
Now it is they who appear favourites to finish top, which Mancini admits seems bizarre.
“Football is crazy,” he said.
“It is important to always believe in yourself when you have a bad moment.
“We were on the top for 28 games and I think we deserve another chance.
“But in two games, anything can happen.
“It is enough for my players that they remember six weeks ago and we were four points ahead of United.
“In two games we lost everything. Up to now, we have done nothing.”